Tensions between India and Pakistan flared again in disputed Kashmir on Sunday as the archrivals' armies barraged each other with heavy artillery fire, killing at least three civilians, Indian police said.
Each side accused the other of starting the shelling and targeting civilian areas in violation of the 2003 cease-fire accord along the so-called Line of Control that divides Kashmir between India and Pakistan.
India and Pakistan have a long history of bitter relations over Kashmir, with both claiming it in its entirety. They have fought two of their three wars since 1947 over their competing claims to the Himalayan region.
Shri Ram Ambarkar, an Indian police officer, said three civilians, including a woman and a child, were killed when shells fired from the Pakistani army hit homes at two locations along the Line of Control in the Kupwara area of Indian-controlled Kashmir on Sunday evening.
Ambarkar said some people were also feared injured as authorities launched a rescue operation amid heavy cross-border shelling in the area.
Since Friday, Pakistan’s military has charged India with repeated violations of the cease-fire along the frontier.
A Pakistani army statement said heavy artillery fire by India “deliberately targeted civilians” on the Pakistani side of the border.
The military said Sunday that two people were seriously hurt overnight and had to be evacuated. On Saturday, the Pakistani military said six people were hurt, including a child, when Indian soldiers launched a barrage of rockets and mortars into civilian areas of Pakistan.
Last weekend, five Indian special forces and five rebels were killed in fierce fighting in the area along the frontier.
The latest fighting has seen for the first time this year use of heavy artillery targeting civilian areas.
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